Here is a painting I completed last fall. As you know, I’m very partial to this former farm which has been saved from development. Just think~it could have been acres of beige mcmansions and pavement.
I’ve been reading that more and more people are becoming disenchanted with the suburb, and are returning to the city. This is wonderful news for cities, and pretty good news for the environment. People are bringing with them new ideas about local food, green roofs, even chickens in the heart of the city! To me, that is indeed heartening.
Perhaps some of that innovation can be introduced to the suburbs as well. All we need is a paradigm shift, and suddenly those ugly and mostly empty strip malls could become community centers, local markets, stuff like that. My father, who has spent large chunks of his life living in other countries, tells how people live in neighborhoods where one can walk to a grocery store, a dry cleaner, a library. My nearest coffee shop is 8 miles away, on roads only a desperate coffee addict would risk on foot or by bicycle. How did we forget to put ourselves, our human selves, into the equation when we were building these so -called communities so many of us live in?
I feel so lucky to live where nature preserves are a priority. That is a huge blessing. But every other part of this county has lost its soul. Do you suppose that is why people are rude and angry? I understand there is now a degree a person can get, called “community planning”. That sounds promising, doesn’t it?